Party Like a Patriot

What to Do on the Fourth of July in Sarasota-Manatee

Sarasota fireworks displays may be canceled, but here are other fun ways to celebrate the Fourth this year, with social distancing and safety in mind.

By Allison Forsyth July 2, 2020

The Fourth of July may look different this year, but there are still lots of ways to celebrate.

The Fourth of July may look different this year, but there are still lots of ways to celebrate.

Image: Shutterstock

Watch the Fireworks at Nathan Benderson Park

Every year, Nathan Benderson Park hosts its "NBP Fireworks on the Lake" on July 3. The show is then televised on local news stations on July 4. This year, to keep social distancing guidelines and public health in mind, the event will be drive-in-style, so you can enjoy the fireworks from the comfort of  your own car. Parking spaces will be limited to the Regatta Island and Green lot, so purchase tickets here. Price is $15 per car and $40 for RVs. The fireworks begin at 9 p.m. 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota. 

Check Out the North Port Freedom Fireworks

While Sarasota has canceled its traditional fireworks displays on the beaches and near Bayfront Park, North Port is offering a drive-in fireworks show on Saturday, July 4. Guests can park at North Port High School, where the fireworks will launch, or the Heron Creek Middle School and Butler Park lots, and can tune into WKDW 97.5 FM to hear the show's accompanying music. Parking opens at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 9 p.m. 6400 West Price Blvd., North Port.

Watch a Virtual Concert from the Choral Artists of Sarasota

Join the Choral Artists of Sarasota for "American Fanfare," a performance of lively patriotic songs that will be live-streamed on Saturday, July 4, to the group's website and YouTube. This twist on a local tradition is sure to get you in the spirit. Click here for more information.

Attend Nancy's Bar-B-Q's Bands and Beer Bash

Nancy's Bar-B-Q at Lorraine Corners in Lakewood Ranch is hosting an outdoor July 4 event from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Enjoy live music outside under tents or enjoy a meal and drink at the full bar. Special offers include $1 Budweiser drafts, $2 domestic bottles and $3 Budweiser seltzers. Dine-in is limited to 50 percent capacity. Masks are required and social distancing will be enforced. 14475 S.R. 70 E., Lakewood Ranch.

Order a Pie from Yoder's Restaurant and Amish Village

The Fourth of July isn't complete without a slice of homemade apple pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Stop into Yoder's on Saturday, July 4, for a delicious slice from the restaurant's extensive menu, or grab a made-to-order take-home pie to enjoy at your cookout. Dine-in and carry-out hours are from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Place your order online or call (941) 955-7771. 3434 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota.

Enjoy Morton's Gourmet Market's July Fourth Menu

Morton's on Osprey Avenue is offering a special July Fourth menu with barbecue pork spare ribs, smoked chicken or pulled pork with Morton's signature sauce. Choose from sides like baked beans, coleslaw and old-fashioned potato salad. Top off the meal with an apple pie, strawberry shortcake or patriotic cupcakes. Call or place your order online today and pick-up curbside. 1924 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota.

Listen to Live Music at Marina Jack

While the Sarasota bayfront fireworks may be canceled, there's still an opportunity to head to the marina for a fun evening. Enjoy dinner and live music at Marina Jack on Friday, July 3, and Saturday, July 4, from 5-9 p.m. Reservations required for indoor and Blue Sunshine Patio dining. 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota.

Rent a Boat With Sarasota Boat Rental

Spend a day on the water with a boat from Sarasota Boat Rental, located at Bayfront Park near Marina Jack. Order a Bayliner F18, Pinecraft Vectra or pontoon for the day, no boating license required. Rent for up to eight hours, watch the sunset or see if you can find some fireworks at night. Schedule your time slot here. 5 Bayfront Drive, Sarasota.

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